Film and narrative

Course Code :2013FLWTHF
Study domain:Film and theatre
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Credits:6
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Tom Paulus
Ruben Demasure
Camille Bourgeus

3. Course contents *

The central question in this course is this: in what ways do films tell stories? What is a film narrative, and how does it work? What knowledge, skills or attitudes are implicitly required from spectators when watching a fiction film? What techniques, tricks, structures and strategies are employed by filmmakers throughout film history to increase (or temporarily distort) our narrative understanding? We will attempt to answer these and other questions by turning to (film)theoretical texts and by looking at concrete examples. We will focus on specific narrative conventions such as the use of the flashback or flash-forward, the voice-over, different types of point-of-view and shifting narrators. Additionally we will look at the uses and effects of network narratives, embedded storylines and subjective stories and how these types of stories engage in allegorical filmmaking. We will also look the ways in which narrative strategies in related visual and or narrative media such as the theatre, cartoons, illustrations and literature have influenced cinematic practices, or the other way around. We will pay particular attention to a film’s style or form (mise-en-scène, editing, acting conventions) and its role in our experience of a film narrative. Next to a clear focus on classical and contemporary Hollywood, we will also study the narrative patterning and structures in other traditions or genres, such as silent film, the nouvelle vague, the art film, independent cinema and non-western film traditions.